Important day -- Kurt Busch visits with regional and business media members
Thursday's sneak preview -- Busch to open NASDAQ, lead Victory Lap procession
NEW YORK (Dec. 1, 2004) -- On a rainy, windy Wednesday in New York City, Kurt Busch (No. 97 Sharpie/IRWIN Tools Ford) got a bird's-eye view of one of Manhattan's traditional industries.
His third day as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion began with a visit to the Canadian International Bank of Commerce trading floor. And the occasion was all for a good cause: CIBC, an international investment bank, was hosting its annual Miracle Day fundraiser for children's charities -- including the March of Dimes. The CIBC donates the day's trading fees to charities -- and Busch was one of many celebrities whose visit drew attention to CIBC's charitable efforts.
Amid the keyboard-clacking and traders' shouts, Busch roamed the floor and visited with CIBC staff members, signing autographs and posing for photos. The CIBC has hosted Miracle Day since 1984 and has raised over $100 million to date.
"That was mind-boggling to see all those computers and that many people yelling at each other," Busch said, "but yet all working together for a common goal of charity."
Busch also met two celebrities who appeared at CIBC at the same time: Miss USA, Shandi Sinnessey, and actor Michael Imperioli, who portrays Christopher Moltisanti on HBO's "The Sopranos."
"Had a chance to hug her and take a picture," Busch said of Miss USA.
Still battling wind and rain, Busch traded the hustle and bustle of CIBC for the warmth and tradition of the 21 Club, one of New York's historic restaurants. There, he met with regional and business media, taking time for sit-down discussions along with team owner Jack Roush. Later, both Roush and Busch enjoyed a luncheon with media attendees.
After the 21 Club event -- and after the sun had broken over the top of Manhattan's skyscrapers -- Busch spent much of his afternoon doing satellite media interviews with national television outlets as well as local affiliates. Later Wednesday evening, Busch would attend a media reception and dinner with NASCAR and Nextel executives. Also squeezed into Wednesday's schedule: Two opportunities to practice his speech for Friday's Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria.
Gracious with his time, Busch acknowledged the importance of Wednesday's activities.
"Today has been one of those cool media days where you get to talk to different media that you don't normally get a chance to talk to," Busch said.
What's on tap tomorrow for the champion ... Thursday will be the busiest day yet for Busch, who'll be up early for the traditional champion's photo shoot in Times Square. At 8:30 a.m. ET, he'll have his photo taken with a show car against the pedestrian-busy, neon-filled expanse of Times Square. Here's the rest of Busch's Thursday schedule:
After the Times Square photo shoot, Busch -- along with Nextel CEO Tim Donahue and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne -- will open the day's trading activity at NASDAQ (approximately 9:15 a.m. ET).
At 10 a.m., ET, Busch will lead the rest of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 in a Victory Lap procession from NASDAQ's Times Square location to NASCAR's New York office on Park Ave. The drivers will strap into their show cars and wait for Donald Trump, Chairman, President and CEO of the Trump Organization, to say, "Gentlemen, start your engines!"
Following the Victory Lap, Busch will participate in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup media luncheon. He'll be joined by the rest of the Top 10 drivers, along with the 11th-place driver, Jamie McMurray (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge), Raybestos Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge), NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr., NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Bobby Hamilton and all of NASCAR's weekly and touring series champions.
Busch's mid-afternoon schedule will include a 3 p.m. ET photo opportunity in front of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, and a 3:30 p.m. ET autograph signing at the NBC Experience at Rockefeller Center.
Later Thursday afternoon, Busch and Top 10 drivers Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWalt Tools Ford), Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet), Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford), Tony Stewart (No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet), Ryan Newman (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) and Elliott Sadler (No. 38 M&Ms Ford) will visit New York City's Ronald McDonald House at 5 p.m. ET, meeting with children undergoing cancer therapy who are staying there, and their families.
At 7:15 p.m. Busch will visit with NASCAR's touring and weekly series champions at their celebration dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel.
Busch will end his day at a Nextel party at the Marriott Marquis.
What: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony
Where: Grand Ballroom, Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, New York City.
When: 7-10:30 p.m. (ET). Friday, Dec. 3.
TV: TNT, 9 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: 1. Kurt Busch 6,506. 2. Jimmie Johnson 6,498. 3. Jeff Gordon 6,490. 4. Mark Martin 6,399. 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6,368. 6. Tony Stewart 6,326. 7. Ryan Newman 6,180. 8. Matt Kenseth 6,069. 9. Elliott Sadler 6,024. 10. Jeremy Mayfield 6,000.
11th-place driver: Jamie McMurray.
Raybestos Rookie of the Year: Kasey Kahne.
Special Guest: Comedian Jay Mohr, host of NBC's "Last Comic Standing."
Musical Entertainment: Scott Stapp, former lead singer of Creed, and R&B vocalist Brian McKnight.